Lunchroom Downtown Formerly: Coffeeshop Downton

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Historically significant lunch
A breakfast-and-lunch spot that is something of an Amsterdam institution, having started life in 1970 as the city's first openly gay café (and a very early espresso bar), with no blacked-out windows or tucked away basements. Gay pioneers Fokke IJsinga and Frits Blaauw called it Coffeeshop Downtown. In 1979 they sold it to Frans Monsma and Guus Silverentand, entrpreneurs with gay ideas of their own, who then made their mark expanding on the gay life and culture of the Reguliersdwarsstraat, including parties, art, a magazine and the famous but now-defunct Café April. The current fourth owner, non-gay Afghan-born Sam Mateen, took over in 2012, serving an extensive menu of home-made soups, quiches, sandwiches, pancakes and pies to a mostly gay clientele. Breakfast is available throughout the day. 'Coffeeshop' was replaced by 'Lunchroom' in 2011, thus avoiding confusion with the city's sanctioned soft-drug hangouts and better representing the menu.